Cover Letter Paragraph Guidelines
When writing cover letters, your paragraphs should be concise and focus on your qualifications for the job.
Cover Letter Paragraph Guidelines
A cover letter should include three paragraphs:
- Body/Selling Pitch
The first paragraph explains why you are writing. It is the first impression and a basic explanation of who you are and why you are writing. It is also acceptable to describe how you found the position or why you are interested in the job.
The second paragraph, known as the body of the cover letter, explains why you are qualified for the position. It is the part of the letter where it is most appropriate to highlight your experience, skills, and attributes that make you a perfect candidate for the position. Don’t restate your entire resume; rather focus on the most important factors that make you desirable.
The third paragraph is a brief conclusion thanking the employer for their time and consideration. Be sure to reiterate your interest in the position and describe how you will next follow up.
Be sure to leave a space between each paragraph.
Cover Letter Margin Settings
When writing a cover letter for a job, the margins should be approximately 1" all around. The left and right margin will be set at 1, " and the top and bottom margins should also be set at 1". It gives your cover letter an uncluttered look and provides plenty of white space which helps with readability.
You should align your text to the left; this is how most documents are aligned, so it will make your letter readable.
When You Need More Space for the Letter
If you have more text than fits on a single page, you can tighten up the margins slightly rather than writing a two-page letter. Keep the margins consistent, so your letter is balanced on the page.
For example, if you adjust all the margins to .75" it will give you more lines and space for the letter content.
Another option is to reduce the left and right margin to .75 and leave the top at 1". Try several options to see which looks best.
When You Need Less Space for the Letter
If your letter is short, you can make the margins larger, so the letter looks balanced on the page without too much white space. In that case, try 1.5" for each of the margins.
How to Adjust Page Margin Settings in Microsoft Word
Here's how to adjust the margins in Word:
- Click on Page Layout / Margins / Normal (for 1" margins)
- There are a variety of other selections, or you can set your own margins by clicking on Page Layout / Margins Custom
How to Adjust Page Margin Settings in Google Docs
Here's how to adjust the margins in Google Docs:
- Click on File / Page Set Up
- You can adjust all the margins (left, right, top and bottom) from this window.
How to Write a Cover Letter
How to write a cover letter, including what to include in your cover letter, how to write a cover letter, cover letter format, targeted cover letters, and cover letter samples and examples.
The modern-day cover letter is your introduction—of any kind—to the employer.
A cover letter has three goals, which you can accomplish in four sentences. Check out the video along with the highlights.
Click here to download my free 4 Sentence Cover Letter with the exact format!
There are essentially three (non-verbal) means to introduce yourself to an employer:
Email (with attached resume)
Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Your “cover letter” has three goals:
Explain why you’ve contacted the employer.
Provide insight on who you are and what you offer.
Show enthusiasm and interest in hearing (back) from the employer.
You can accomplish these three goals in four sentences, which I discuss in the video. Grab this free 4 Sentence Cover Letter to see the exact format!
If you have haven’t seen How To Build the Ultimate Professional Resume, check it out because some of the cover letter content references your resume.
You can also get the Interview Intervention Book Experience FREE, which has much more and includes an eBook, audio, chapter note, guides, and many aids related to job interviewing!
About the Author
Andrew LaCivita is the Founder & Chief Executive of milewalk and the milewalk Academy. As an internationally recognized executive recruiter, award-winning author, speaker, and trainer, Andrew has dedicated his career to helping people and companies realize their potential. He frequently serves as a trusted media resource and is the author of Interview Intervention, Out of Reach but in Sight, and The Hiring Prophecies (the eLit Gold Award Winner for Best Business/Careers/Sales Book for 2016).
Andrew’s passion is serving as a coach and trainer via his top 100 HR and Careers Blog, Tips for Work and Life®, and his online training site, the milewalk Academy. On a daily basis, he circulates his Today’s Line to Live By™, which is a self-developed inspirational quote. You can find these daily dispatches of inspiration on his blog and social media platform.
To learn more about Andrew and get the many free resources, books, and other helpful aids he offers, see his full biography and resources page.